New York Rangers (45-31-6) at Montreal Canadiens (46-28-8)
|Date & Time||Monday May 19, 2014, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Montreal Canadiens -126 / New York Rangers +114 --- Over/Under: 5
The Montreal Canadiens look to even the score on Monday after a series opening loss on Saturday in which they were pasted for a playoff high seven goals.
The New York Rangers can head home with a commanding 2-0 series lead with a victory at the Bell Centre on Monday after a statement victory in the series opener which nobody saw coming outside of the Blue Shirts themselves and even that might be a stretch. New York needed seven games to dispose of both the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins and after a spectacular effort to upend the Boston Bruins in the second round there was mmuch optimism for Montreal heading into the East finals with the Rangers. However, New York came out flying and caught the Canadiens off guard and now with the health of Carey Price being a concern and his status on playing being up in the air it could be New York who assumes the favourite role over the next couple of days if not already. Henrik Lundqvist was strong once again in game one and if he can go shot for shot with Price or Petr Budaj than the Rangers could find themselves in their first Cup finals since winning it all in 1994.
The Canadiens need to rebound after a very sloppy effort to start the series which could have been expected after such a high against the Bruins but a 7-2 drubbing and the possible loss of Carey Price could spell the end of Montreal's Cup chances. Montreal has had a tough schedule to date and have done quite well in getting to where they are but it no secret that the success they have enjoyed is based in large part to the play of Price. Montreal has a ton of speed up front and can exploit that against a bigger Rangers team but it is the visitors who are deeper up front and if they can get on the board early to start game two than they have a great chance at wrapping things up on home ice. However, the Habs are a stingy team that have been able to rebound after a tough loss and even if Price can't go tomorrow I like Montreal to respond and even things up before heading back to New York for games three and four.